September 30, 2011

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Congratulations to Kristi Pyke, director of Human Resources, for successfully planning and hosting this week's meeting of the National Association of Veterinary College Administrators (NAVCA). Many of our college staff and faculty offered talks ranging from fundraising and communications, to our culture change efforts and Honoring the Bond program. Attendees appreciated the insight and variety, as well as the extra-curricular trips to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and The Wilds. Nearly 40 administrators participated in the program, representing 23 of the 28 colleges and schools of veterinary medicine. Hosting this event gave us the opportunity to showcase our facilities and programs to an important group of peers.

Congratulations also goes out to two of our outstanding graduate students: Dr. Kristin Lewis and Dr. Lisa Berman-Booty, PhD candidates and anatomic pathology residents. Both of them received awards from the coalition of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and Society of Toxicologic Pathology. They are the only recipients of these national awards – a wonderful reflection of the excellence of our graduate program.

Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center, and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, hosted a reception last week for our own Dr. Michael Lairmore, who will be leaving soon to accept his new position as dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC-Davis. Michael has served the CCC in several important positions, most recently as associate director for Shared Resources. We will be hosting our own celebration of his accomplishments, as well as an opportunity to wish him well on his new endeavors, Tuesday, October 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. (remarks at 4) in the Hummel Grand Lounge on the first floor of the Veterinary Medicine Academic Building. (Please RSVP to Michele Morscher, Morscher [dot] 1 [at] osu [dot] edu).

Campus Updates and Partnerships

We had a great meeting with the Ohio State Legislative Affairs Office recently. We are pursuing an opportunity to develop new partnerships to provide large animal services in the Appalachian region of Ohio. We are hopeful that the state will support these efforts financially. I want to thank Dr. Rustin Moore and Dr. Jeff Lakritz for their efforts in developing a proposal that describes how this partnership might work. Representative Bill Johnson from the 6th Ohio Congressional District visited our campus also. We provided him with a "behind-the-scenes" tour of the Veterinary Medical Center and met to discuss some of our ideas for improving veterinary services to rural communities in southeast Ohio. We were pleased with his genuine interest in better understanding the needs for improved veterinary services in the Appalachian region.

In addition, Dr. Moore and Dr. John Hubbell have been instrumental in developing a proposal to request state support from another resource: slot machines. For many years, the horse racing industry in Ohio supported equine wellness research at Ohio State, and that support declined as the racing industry slowed. There is an effort to introduce slot machines at the tracks in the state in order to reinvigorate the horse racing industry. A number of other states provide research funds from the profits realized by these facilities. We are proposing that our equine wellness research funds be reinstated as part of the process to grant authority for the installation of the machines.

We continue to build relationships with other organizations on campus, as well. Last week was the annual "Farm Science Review" held at Molly Caren Farm near London, OH. The event is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and includes a luncheon hosted by their dean, Bobby Moser. This year the keynote speaker was Governor John Kasich, and many legislators were in attendance as well. According to their website, 133,734 people attended the three-day event this year.

I also spent time with Provost Joe Alutto last week. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss our strategy and vision with him. He and President Gee continue to express their support for our college, and we appreciate their help and advice as we continue to advance our programs.

In the health sciences, three colleges have welcomed new deans in the past month: Dr. Bernadette Melnyk joined the College of Nursing as dean, associate vice president for health promotion, and Ohio State's first chief wellness officer; Dr. Charles Lockwood is the new dean of the College of Medicine; and Dr. Patrick Lloyd is the new dean of the College of Dentistry. President Gee recently hosted a reception welcoming all three deans to Ohio State. They are enthusiastic participants in an effort to share messaging strategies across the seven health science colleges, and I look forward to discovering new areas for partnership across the areas.

State and National Issues

The release of the recent movie "Contagion" has kindled media interest in the concept of "One Health." The movie is also an attempt to focus on the need for improved biosurveillance and for a strong public health and animal health infrastructure. I enjoyed being interviewed recently by Huffington for a story about the real virus this movie is based on – the Nipah virus from an outbreak in Malaysia that originated from bats. Here is a reference to that recent story:

Alumni and Fundraising

We are continuing the planning efforts for the new Capital Campaign. With a campaign this large and this important, we want to ensure that everyone in the college understands the process and our priorities. To help engage everyone in our efforts, we will be planning several half-day "mini retreats" for each of our departments to discuss fundraising priorities and specific needs for each area. More information will be coming soon.

A group of us attended the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix last weekend as guests of campaign co-chair and donor Barbara Trueman: Drs. Jon Dyce, Wendy Lorch, Rustin Moore, Lisa Zekas, and Theresa Burns. We appreciate her support of the college and were pleased to be invited. Many other college staff and faculty were involved in the event as well, including show veterinarian Dr. Michael Schmall. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves. It's a nice event that raises money for the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence, an important cause championed by Abigail Wexner.

Dean Lonnie King